Biographies & Memoirs

Young Stalin

Young Stalin

What makes a Stalin? Was he a Tsarist agent or Lenin's bandit? Was he to blame for his wife's death? When did the killing start?

Based on revelatory research, here is the thrilling story of how a charismatic cobbler's son became a student priest, romantic poet, prolific lover, gangster mastermind and murderous revolutionary. Culminating in the 1917 revolution, Simon Sebag Montefiore's bestselling biography radically alters our understanding of the gifted politician and fanatical Marxist who shaped the Soviet empire in his own brutal image. This is the story of how Stalin became Stalin.

Stalin Family Tree - Maps


List of Characters


Prologue: The Bank Robbery


Chapter 1: Keke’s Miracle: Soso

Chapter 2: Crazy Beso

Chapter 3: Brawlers, Wrestlers and Choirboys

Chapter 4: A Hanging in Gori

Chapter 5: The Poet and the Priesthood

Chapter 6: The “Young Man with the Burning Eyes”

Chapter 7: Battle of the Dormitories: Soso versus Father “Black Spot”

Chapter 8: The Weatherman: Parties and Princes

Chapter 9: Stalin Goes Underground: Konspiratsia

Chapter 10: “I’m Working for the Rothschilds!”—Fire, Massacre and Arrest in Batumi


Chapter 11: The Prisoner

Chapter 12: The Frozen Georgian: Siberian Exile

Chapter 13: Bolshevik Temptress

Chapter 14: 1905: King of the Mountain

Chapter 15: 1905: Fighters, Urchins and Dressmakers

Chapter 16: 1905: The Mountain Eagle— Stalin Meets Lenin

Chapter 17: The Man in Grey: Marriage, Mayhem (and Sweden)

Chapter 18: Pirate and Father

Chapter 19: Stalin in London

Chapter 20: Kamo Goes Insane: The Game of Bandits and Cossacks

Chapter 21: The Tragedy of Kato: Stalin’s Stony Heart

Chapter 22: Boss of the Black City: Plutocrats, Protection - Rackets and Piracy

Chapter 23: Louse Racing, Murder and Madness—Prison Games

Chapter 24: “River Cock” and the Noblewoman

Chapter 25: “The Milkman”: Was Stalin a Tsarist Agent?


Chapter 26: Two Lost Fiancées and a Pregnant Peasant

Chapter 27: The Central Committee and “Glamourpuss” the Schoolgirl

Chapter 28: “Don’t Forget That Name and Be Very Wary!”

Chapter 29: The Escapist: Kamo’s Leap and the Last Bank Robbery

Chapter 30: Travels with the Mysterious Valentina

Chapter 31: Vienna, 1913: The Wonderful Georgian, the Austrian Artist and the Old Emperor

Chapter 32: The Secret Policeman’s Ball: Betrayal in Drag


Chapter 33: “Darling, I’m in Desperate Straits”

Chapter 34: 1914: Arctic Sex Comedy

Chapter 35: The Hunter

Chapter 36: The Robinson Crusoe of Siberia

Chapter 37: Stalin’s Reindeer - Propelled Sleigh and a Siberian Son


Chapter 38: 1917 Spring: Floundering Leader

Chapter 39: 1917 Summer: Sailors on the Streets

Chapter 40: 1917 Autumn: Soso and Nadya

Chapter 41: 1917 Winter: The Countdown

Chapter 42: Glorious October 1917: The Bungled Uprising

Chapter 43: Power: Stalin Out of the Shadows

Epilogue: An Old Tyrant—in Remembrance of Things Past

Stalin’s Names, Nicknames, Bylines and Aliases

Source Notes

Select Bibliography

Picture Section

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